re:Goldfish experiment (plus an alternative)

>I understand your concern, and I love goldfish just as much as
>you probley do that is why I chose this experament to see if an
>acid helps a goldfish live longer. I think we could both
>benifit from this expirament. Wouldn't you like to see a goldfishes
>life be exstended because of this expirament.

Hmmm.  Ok, you plan to do an experiment on whether certain acids will make
goldfish live longer.  So, you'll need a control tank large enough to house 
your baseline set of goldfish, plus an identical tank for each 
acid/concentration combination you plan to use.  

Say you want to test with only Hydrochloric, Nitric, and Sulfuric acids.  Plus, 
you want to test with a set of concentrations, none of them being lethal, 
because this doesn't help your longevity experiment any.  Obviously, your water 
buffering capacity will quickly drop to zero during the course of your 
experiment because each of these acids strong acids.  And you want to test each 
acid at only three concentrations:  pH 6.75, pH 6.5, and pH 6.25.  Now, you'll 
need the water change and pH control facilities to maintain your experiment for 
its duration.  Finally, you'll need the actual aquariums.  I'd recommend a 200 
gallon pond for each setup, and I'd recommend using at least two setups for 
each combination to help keep unexpected variances (like disease) under 
control.  Because of the lifespan of your fish, you'll need to run the 
experiment for at least 50 years.  So, we're talking 22 200 gallon setups 
maintained for 50 years to keep your experiment going.  You may be able to help 
fund it by selling the fry.

On the other hand, maybe you could do a slightly different experiment that 
wouldn't take so long:

Objective:  To determine whether aquatic plants help keep water clean.

Equipment:  2 10g tanks, 2 air-driven sponge filters, 2 aquarium thermometers, 
1 air pump, 1 2-way air splitting valve, air hose, 2 twin-bulb (30w 
fluorescent) shop light fixtures, 2 electrical outlet timers, 4 bunches of 
Hygrophila difformis (water wisteria), pH, Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate test 
kits, water de-chloraminator (Amquel), fish food, and 20 feeder guppies in 2 
bags of 10 guppies each (do not purchase the fish or plants until you're ready 
for them).  Also purchase a few rolls of film to document the procedure and 
results.  2 50w aquarium heaters are an optional addition if your room 
temperature will be below 70F.
Estimated cost to purchase all equipment: < $100. (Hopefully, you already have 
most of it, or can improvise.)

Setup:  Fill both tanks with 9.75 gallons of water.  Set up and add a sponge 
filter to each tank.  Connect the air pump and the sponge filters to the air 
splitting valve.  Plug the air pump into the wall outlet.  Following the 
instructions on the de-chloraminator, treat each tank for chloramines.  Place a 
lighting fixture on each tank, set the timers for a 11 hour cycle, plug the 
lights into the timers, and plug the timers into the wall outlet.  Add a 
thermometer to each tank and wait for the water temperature to stabilize at 
room temperature.  If you are using heaters, add and calibrate them to 75F at 
this time.  Purchase the plants and fish.  Add the plants and one bag of fish 
to the "experiment" tank, and add the other bag of fish to the control tank.

Procedure:  Measure and feed the same amount of food to each tank once a day.  
Feed no more than the fish can completely eat in 3 minutes.  Measure and record 
the temperature, pH, Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates in each tank every day.  
Measure the total length of one of the H. difformis once a day.  Compare and 
record the water clarity between the two tanks once a day.  After 4 weeks, 
compare the results of each tank and draw your conclusions.

I think you'll wind up with a much better project with this than with an acid 

David W. Webb
Enterprise Computing Provisioning
Texas Instruments Inc. Dallas, TX USA
(214) 575-3443 (voice)  MSGID:       DAWB
(214) 575-4853 (fax)    Internet:    dwebb at ti_com
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